With the legalization of cannabis in more American states, researchers are taking a closer look at how this is affecting the use of marijuana. Just 20 years ago, marijuana use was illegal in the U. S. But the times are rapidly changing. Currently, physicians can prescribe cannabis in 29 states and the District of Columbia in accords with medical marijuana laws (MML). For an individual at least 21, it is legal to be in possession of and use marijuana in eight states and the nation’s capital. A person can even go to the pot stores in Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska to make their recreational purchase. With this large upswing in weed availability, it is not surprising that use amongst teenagers might be on the rise.
The over-21 population tends to favor the traditional method of smoking pot. However, a recent study looked at the teen (14 – 18) community. Although, it is still not legal for anyone under 21 to be in possession or use marijuana without a medical prescription, more and more teens are creatively experimenting with the substance. The recent study conducted by the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice had a two-fold purpose: (1) To determine the effects of cannabis legalization on teens and (2) to utilize social media as a source for data gathering. The use of online surveys distributed through Facebook allowed for the quick dissemination of information and the ability to use non-traditional questions geared towards the target audience. The results revealed that teens tend to favor edibles and vaping as the preferred methods for cannabis use.